So, for most of the people reading this post, the title of this post might mean not much. I might as well say I met Benjamin Britton. Ben is a genius “dude” at the organization I work at, and I love Ben and all, but for EVERYONE reading this, Ben is an unknown entity. For another part of the people that are reading this, the name Stephen Foskett actually means something. For that segment of the population, you are at this point thinking “what has Jim gotten into now? We know Stephen is awesome, we’ve met him!”
I have partaken in some drinks, and some of those drinks were with Stephen Foskett. That’s what has gotten into Jim!
Stephen Foskett is the driving force behind Tech Field Day. For a long time; OK, maybe not A LONG time, but for a while, I have known the name Stephen Foskett. I was a delegate at Mobility Field Day 3 in 2018, and our resident tech herder, Tom Hollingsworth, talked very highly of him. I have spoken with other people about Mr. Foskett, and to a person, each one has said he is someone that you just need to meet in person.
Tonight was that night for me.
I can report, with the certain fog that comes from cocktails consumed amongst colleagues, that Stephen Foskett delivered in all aspects rumored of him and then some! When I first arrived from the airport, the guy actually knew who I was! He knew that I was a wireless guy, and was actually genuinely happy to see me! Most wireless folks know that when that happens, the next question is generally about how that other person in the conversation need us to fix the Wi-Fi in their house. (Spoiler alert – unless you live on a big chunk of land, you can only marginally improve your Wi-Fi. We can’t help you, residential Wi-Fi is going to be bad, it’s just the nature of suburbia.) I can tell you that in the couple of hours I spent around him, not once did he ask how to fix the Wi-Fi in his house.
You got to respect that!
Not only did he not ask me about how to fix the Wi-FI in his house, he used the coins in my pocket to explain RAID storage to me. Now, if you know me, you understand what a big accomplishment that is. Granted, he had some help from Ken Nalbone and Dan, but he generally handled it himself. And he did it at the bar, while I consumed the drinks that I mentioned earlier! (Disclaimer here, I don’t know if he was partaking at the time, I was that fascinated by the three quarters and one penny he kept moving around on the bar.). For the $64,000 question, I have no idea if I will remember it when I finally make it home in 4 days or so, but do you want to know the best part?
I don’t have to!
Dan, who is from Australia, but I forget his last name, will always be available for me to get a hold of and ask about RAID storage and the quarters on the bar. Best part is he will actually know what I’m talking about! You see, this is where the secret lies. People, for the most part, are good. The group of people that I had dinner and drinks with tonight are good tech people. What makes this special is we all WANT to be good tech people, and we all realize that we need each other to make tech great. Good people, wanting to do great things, working together, accomplishing AMAZING things.
Stephen gets this, and I think it is why Tech Field Day is a thing. I overheard him telling some other story, but this sounds better, so it’s what I choose to believe. I met some great people from literally all over the world tonight, and I get to spend the next three days with them talking tech.
I’m not really sure how I got into the Tech Field Day family, but after one event last year and the welcome dinner of the one event this year, I know it’s a family that I am lucky to be a part of, and I credit Stephen Foskett and his crew of merry tech herders (and Ben T. Gage; different Ben from above) with making all of this happen!
Check out Tech Field Day here, and keep an eye on the schedule and tune into a live event every once in a while, you will be glad you did!
If you want to join the family, check out this page and start your journey today, you won’t regret it!